Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The rise, fall and rise from grace!

"You are so pretty Anjali..." said my 4 year old nephew looking at me with adoration in his eyes.

"Why thank you sweets!!!" I said blushing a little, absolutely blown off my feet!

"...just like Srikrishnan" he finished!

The fall from grace was sudden...and very painful. The resounding *THUD* echoed through the house. I was devastated.

Srikrishanan is the ugly old, wizened, rheumy eyed gardener in his house. *sob*

His parents hastened to explain that he absolutely adores Srikrishnan and this was his way of paying me the ultimate compliment.

I am recovering from the fall now...slowly. My ego was terribly hurt though and is in critical condition and battling for life. Something tells me it wont make it through the night! My self esteem is already dead!

R.I.P my Self Esteem.

Happy New Year folks! This is my 250th post. Dedicating it to my nephew Noel! :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Chikka Technology-ooru!

Vice President Hamid Ansari recently declared Bang-a-thalai-ooru the "Nano city of India."

Soon after the announcement, the state government rebuilt the roads. The citizens of Bang-a-thalai-ooru (Bang-the-head-town a.k.a Bangalore) rejoiced!

On the second day of the announcement, the government hastily re-laid the roads when they realized that they had completely missed the old roads while relaying the new coat. The citizens of Bang-a-thalai-ooru rejoiced.

On the third day of the announcement, the BWSSB dug up the new roads. The citizens of Bang-a-thalai-ooru gnashed their teeth in despair.

On the fourth day of the announcement, the roads developed potholes. The wails of the citizenry rend the air.

On the fifth day of the announcement, the government wondered what Nano Technology was all about.

On the sixth day of the announcement, the bureaucrat who drafted the announcement was thrown out.

On the seventh day of the announcement, the government stopped all infrastructure repair work and took rest.

According to a Press Release released late that evening, the government was under the impressions that the Vice President had declared Karnataka a ‘Nano Car State.’ Speaking at the Press Conference a government spokesperson said "Gee…that VP's statement had all of us fooled ha ha ha!"

The citizens of Bang-a-thalai-ooru ...never mind the citizens of Bang-a-thalai-ooru!

('Chikka' in Kannada mean 'small' or 'Nano'! 'Ooru' means town or village)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The ol' Tree House

Ze fine print: is not working as Blogger refuses to go into compose mode! So I am absolved muahahahaa! Offers to teach me HTML are hereby refused.

Reading about the Taj Mahal Hotel and the significance of some buildings to people, I am reminded of an edifice that is as venerable and as beloved to me and my friends, as the Taj Mahal Hotel is to the rich and famous err I mean ordinary Indians. The edifice that I am talking about is the Tree House our Dad fashioned out of a plywood carton for us when we were small. It has given me and my friends’ hours of cramped pleasure and played host to several of our tea parties, snack-ins, sulk-ins, cry-ins, sleep-ins, sneak-ins to read comics etc etc. The building has lost some of its former glory…correction, most of its former glory actually….okay to be completely truthful it has lost all its glory and plywood to the ravages of time and a determined little girl and her friends and several attempts by my ammachi to pull it down and take it to Kerala to serve as a kozhikoodu (chicken coup).

All that is left of the structure is a few planks that were the floor at one time and a few planks that made up the walls and the roof. I have some lovely memories attached to the tree house. My dogs have some horrible err nice memories attached to the tree house. I remember how my doggies would cringe the moment I said ‘tree house’ and would run away and hide. It gave me great pleasure to chase them and drag them out of their hiding places and haul them up whining, to the tree house. Those were the days…sigh.

There was this time that a bunch of honey bees took over the tree house. My Dad announced that we could not use the tree house till the present tenants had vacated. This made me mad and my second bro M madder. This meant that me and my friends would come in the way of his silly games instead of sitting safely out of earshot in the tree house. So he and his friends decided to smoke out the bees like they had seen the local bee keepers do. They piled up some dry twigs and grass and stuff under the tree house and set it on fire. The entire house burnt down. But the tree house and its occupants remained unfazed. Later in the day, as my parents collected what they could from the charred remains of the house, he i.e my brother was heard remarking to his friend that they should have considered wind direction before lighting the fire. His friends reply was lost in the wind as he fled at top speed with my enraged Dad in hot pursuit.

The tree house was fashioned out of the plywood carton that housed the washing machine my Dad had bought down from the Middle East. It was a roomy carton you know, the type that can house a washing machine, a fridge, a car, six double cots, three televisions, a dining table set, a sofa set, several wall to wall cupboards, two blenders, several tonnes of books, crockery, furnishings and a huge barbecue set and still look like it was carrying only a Washing Machine. The Customs never suspected a thing and waved my Dad on. We furnished an entire house when it was unpacked and even now, there are chances that you may find a Two in One or a Rotisserie Grill or a Casio if you look carefully in between the plywood boards. The other day my little cousin brother found a toaster. It was still in good condition and working. We shook our heads in amazement and promptly threw it in the dustbin.

After the evacuation of the carton which took roughly two months and six pairs of hired hands, the carpenter resized the sides, redid the floor with sturdier wood and added a roof to make it look like a house. The door on each side was a gap made by removing a couple of planks of plywood and viola…our tree house was ready. The tree house was housed on the forking branches of a horribly deformed Banyan tree that grew in every possible direction but up, leaving us with lots of low hanging sit-able branches. It could seat four little girls and two dogs at a time. Guests sat on the branches and depending on who were very nice to me, they would actually get an invite to sit inside the tree house. We had lots of doll parties there and later as we grew older we simply sat around on the branches and talked about the latest fashion, guys, expensive cosmetics, guys, orthodox parents, guys, designer shoes, guys, strict Nuns, guys, tough exams, guys, stupid teacher, guys and so on.

Those were wonderful days and the tree house reminds me of carefree times when our greatest worry was a honeybee attack and an AK 47 was a couple of alphabets and numerals. Pakistan was the nation to the upper left of India not to be confused with Iran a nation we were told we would not be studying due to lack of time to finish the Geography portions. We heaved a sigh of relief. That was one capital, one flag, many crops, many more minerals, several industries, types of agricultural produce, major ports and cities, GNP, type of government, national religion, language and sport…less to cram. Whew!! Besides we did not have to by heart the names of its neighbors too. Whatay relief!!!!

Today the Tree House is a remnant of its old self. Its splintering edifice is hidden by the overgrowth. The banyan tree has since learnt that it is a tree and not a creeper and has grown in stature and girth. The sit-able branches are now not so sit-table unless we hire a really tall ladder and an exterminator to rid the tree of its entire insect eco system. According to the gardener it looks like a bhoot bangla on a Banyan tree. He finds that mighty funny and cracks up every time the old plywood of the tree house creaks in the wind! The maid in the house thinks it is not a good omen to keep a Tree House on a Banyan tree. According to her no self respecting ghost will like to be seen alive in it. I have since hammered a couple of more nails to ensure that it stays on the tree. My bedroom overlooks the Banyan tree you see. Besides you do not want any peeping tom-ghosts peering through your window do you? brrr

The other day an incident made us decide that the tree house remains no matter what the neighbor or the maid or the gardener says. It so happened that my Dad’s old enemy, the forest department wallah came a visiting to check on the trees in the house. He drops in randomly whenever he feels like irritating my Dad.

Now if you are wondering what the Forest Dept (FD) has to do with our trees, think again. Every tree you plant outside or close to your premises it automatically becomes the property of the FD. It doesn’t matter if they cannot distinguish a Jackfruit tree from a lamp post. It is still theirs! I suspect they wait till you have bought the seedling, planted it, watered it, fought off pests and tree disease, firewood gatherers, tree robbers etc etc and then, sneak up behind the bushes where I guess they were hiding and watching, and plant a seal on the tree and say “Viola the tree is now OURS hah!!!” And right after that you live in mortal fear. You inspect the tree every day. If it shows any sign of dying, you pack up your bags and migrate, cos the FD is gonna get you and put you in the slammer for damaging a tree that is protected under the rule 456, section C, sub section 1A on page 4567899234 of “The Karnataka Forest Department Rule Book”. (The 900th Edition of the book is on the way with reportedly 5567899234 pages covering the Jackfruit tree alone.)

Now my dad and the FD have a love hate relationship spanning a few decades, several litigations and notices, suites and counter suites.

Court Clerk: Mr P you are hereby directed to appear before the Lower Magistrate for cutting down a Tectona grandis.
Dad: Tectona grandis? What on earth is that!!!
Clerk: A Teak tree!
Dad: But I don’t have a Teak tree!!
Clerk: Oops then I think it must be a Santalum album!
Dad: And what on earth is that!
Clerk: Sandalwood tree
Dad: I don’t have that either!
Clerk: hmm how about Punica granatum, Pomegranate?
Dad: No!
Clerk: Saraca asoca, Ashoka tree?
Dad: #$!%@&*%!!!
Clerk: Okay okay I am going!! Some people are so crabby! Tch tch

Now as the Forest Department wallah walked around inspecting the trees with a I-am-gonna-get-you-air, the old tree house creaked. Forest Department wallah turned a few shades grey and nearly jumped out of his skin. It was late evening you see. The wind blew again and this time good old tree house let out an even longer creak! Forest Department wallah suddenly remembered that he had something urgent to do and scooted out of the house at top speed. He was never seen again.

Nowadays the FD minions skip our house in their rounds. They are definitely not coming to a house with a creepy and creaking Banyan tree that rumor has it is infested with ghosts (origin of rumor err not known). Even a die hard Forest Department wallah will not go near a tree infested with ghosts. The government isn’t paying him enough to do that you see. Suffice to say that peace has returned to our front yard, back yard and other places where we have planted trees. And all because of our good ol Tree House!

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year 2009!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

You got to be kidding Chef!!!

I chanced upon a cookery show the other day when I was channel surfing. Last weeks episode was titled 'Getting Your Child to Eat Veggies". It looked like another one of those programs for mommies with small kids, so I decided to change the channel. As I was about to switch to the News channel, I saw an incredible sight! The program hostess was giving a brief glimpse of some mouth watering veggie preparations that the Chef was going to show and I was tempted to watch the rest of the show. It was not a show on baby food mind you. But regular vegetarian preparation, with an eye on the fussy kids’ palate to entice them to eat veggies. I looked at my kids…my three doggies and decided not to try it on them. Either they would walk out on me or push me out of the house.

The first preparation was a starter. The Chef took a couple of slices of bread, beamed at the camera and trimmed the sides off with a flourish. Next he took some tomato ketchup and drew eyes, a nose and a smiley on the bread slice with the ketchup. Then he drizzled some canned corn above the eyes to make it look like golden tresses. Next he arranged the decorated bread on a nice kiddie plate and viola the most delicious, healthy and nutritious yet revolting snack was ready to spit out...err eat!!

The audience clapped and I gave the Chef's wife a standing ovation for tactfully throwing hubbies preparation into the dustbin and feeding the kids some healthy Samosas and Chips and Sauce as starters. The man beamed as the hostess of the show showed off the creation in front of the camera, gushing over the color, content and sheer creative genius of the recipe. She urged moms watching the show to make the dish right away and give it to their kids asap. I could imagine the scene at some homes across the country.

Mom: Kids come and see what I have made for you.
Kids: What is it ma?
Mom: I have made a delicious smiley face on a slice on bread with tinned corn!!!
Kids: *barf*

The next item on the Chef’s list was the main course. The Chef was of the opinion that kids were fed up of the usual diet of Roti and Dal and Rice. He showed a simple yet delicious and nutrient packed ‘Kaathi Roll’ for the kids that he claimed they would enjoy eating without a fuss.

With a flourish the Chef laid out a Chapathi on a plate. Next he doused it in tomato ketchup. He then laid some lettuce leaves over the ketchup and sprinkled it with toasted Paneer cubes and chopped Capsicum. He finished the whole preparation with a drizzling of lemon juice and coriander leaf and when I was back after throwing up, he rolled the Chapati into a roll and pinned it with a Mickey Mouse tooth pick. Delicious, nutritious, lip smacking ‘Kaathi Roll with Summer Salad’ was ready to throw into the nearest dust bin err I mean eat!!!!

I could visualize kids all over the country packing up their bags and leaving homes by the dozen. Since we do not have Milk cartons in India, Ice Cream boxes would now feature mug shots of kids gone missing from home and presumably hiding till mom stops making them healthy and nutritious food as shown on TV by this Chef.

Next on the menu was dessert! I watched with disbelief and nausea. The Chef made a ‘Bursting-with-Calcium and Goodness of Wheat Kheer’ that he said would be hard to resist for the kids and would be polished off within seconds!!! The recipe was simple. A cup of Dalia (broken wheat) that seems to be synonymous with "health food" in India, cooked in milk and sweetened with Jaggery (for health) seasoned with cardamom powder and garnished with cherries *ugh*. The concoction was served in dessert bowls and a tube of jam was used to draw smiley faces over the concoction and viola…delicious ‘Milky Wheat Delight’ was ready!!! According to the Chef each serving had enough calcium and potassium and Vitamin A to Z to persuade the runaway kids to come back home.

The entire gruesome buffet was shown in the end in case there were viewers who were yet to puke and or finding it difficult to puke. I pitied the kids and thanked my lucky stars that cookery shows for kids were unheard of when I was a kid. My mother’s idea of a kiddie treat was chips and cola and other stuff that we gulped down with amazing efficiency. And by the time she was wiser, we had learned to eat these on the sly or lie that we never touched them at school and that we spent our pocket money on actual food.

Notice: If any kid between the age of two and twelve is reading this post please don’t return home till next week. The Chef is showing "Healthy and Tasty Tiffin Treats" this week!

Healthy Tiffin? For gods sakes is there nothing sacred left on this earth anymore??!?!?! *sob*


Image courtesy Corbis

God bless the people who lost their loved ones in the Mumbai carnage. And God bless those who laid down their lives for us. And God bless us all specially so that we do not let their sacrifice go in ensuring that this does not happen again. May peace reign over our land and in the region. Amen!

Jai Hind

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shopping with the enemy and winning

Before all the girls here gasp and faint, let me explain. I DID NOT GO SHOPPING WITH MY AMMA. It just err… happened! Yeah I know, shopping with your mother is not what you do unless you are a toddler or bound and gagged and taken under gun point or taken leave of your sense or all three. But this sort of happened…honestly!!

So here we were the other day, mother and daughter, walking innocently by Life and Style Inc when the lady remembered that she needed to buy new furnishings for Christmas. And since we were passing by the Mall, and I needed to buy approximately 116784 gifts for Christmas (6578 on Dad’s side of the family alone), I agreed to go in with her. I learned a few useful things in furnishings shopping that day…namely:

1. I hope to God I NEVER have to go shopping for furnishings.
2. I admire women who have shopped for their new homes. I would pass out after the Kitchen collection.
3. I am buying a furnished house when I need to refurnish my house!
4. I cannot believe people go shopping for room after room of furnishings
5. My mother is a like a woman possessed while shopping and no force on Earth, not even a fish sale will pull her out of the shop till she is finished.
6. Her daughter is just the opposite.
7. Me and mom and very unlike.
8. I pity my dad
9. Henceforth I will be nicer to him for putting up with my ma all these years.
10. I will never go shopping with my mother again!

We entered the Home section of the Mall at exactly 10 am and were out in the record breaking time of 6 pm. This is a record by my mother’s standards and as she modestly told gawping onlookers at the award ceremony later on in the day “It was because of my daughter that I was able to achieve this feat. Else I would never have left the store till 6 pm the next day”. My father had tears in his eyes a lump in his throat and huge hole in his pocket as he watched his wife blushingly acknowledge the standing ovation of my two brothers, an uncle and aunt and several cousin brothers hanging around the house as “it is not polite to eat and leave so early.” After which he pinched himself to ensure that he was not dreaming. Then he broke into tears and sobbed uncontrollably. Then the wife lovingly passed him the bill and he passed out.

The daughter took home the prize for Creative Direction, Screenplay, Stunt Coordination and Special Effects. Stung by the feat, Life and Style Inc has expanded their Home Furnishing Section by an additional 20, 000 sq feet. Speaking to reporters, the Managing Director, Home Furnishings Department Ms Matresswala said “pffftttt

Rumor has it that they plan to cancel the Gold Circle Card of a certain Miss Philip. Mrs Philips card however has been upgraded with stiffer reward points to ensure that she doesn’t leave the store till the mandatory period of 72 hours or Rs XXX in purchases whichever comes first. Mr Philip is not welcome at the store. His Credit card will however be acknowledged at all Life and Style Inc outlets, according to a Press Release.

When queried by eager fans, the daughter acknowledged that she was able to pull off this near impossible feat by some quick thinking, helluva lot of sleeping on the beds on display and some reclining on the imported recliners, also on display.

An example of quick thinking that day.

Mom: What do you think of this bedspread with elephant patchwork?
Me: Absolutely stunning ma. Beautiful!! Let’s pay and go home!
Mom: I am glad you liked it. Now let me show you the others I have shortlisted!
Me: Others? :-S
Mom: Yes. There are another 450 or so that I have shortlisted.
Me: *groan*

Ok….that was a bad example. Pliss ignore. But I learned quickly and did better in the subsequent rounds as shown in the following examples.

Example no 1:

Mom: What do you think of this bedspread with elephant patchwork?
Me: hmmm it is fine but I think a darker shade would look better.
Mom: You are right!!! How about this one?
Me: Perfect!!!
Mom: It’s settled then!

Example no 2:

Mom: And how about this ruffled country style curtains?
Me (quickly scanning the catalog): hmmm personally I feel that we should go for easy-care polyester.
Mom: You are right! Cotton would not be so easy to maintain.
Me: You are right ma!
Mom: It is settled then.

The key you see folks is acting like you are actually participating in the decision making while you are actually hastening the decision making process heh heh Pleased with my contribution, my mom paid for the Pure Poison I picked up and looked at so wistfully sighing loudly several times. When my father came around from the faint, my mom explained that next time when her daughter looks on wistfully at something, she will hit her on the head with the shopping bag. The father plans to pay for the perfume priced at Rs 5000/- for 50 ml from the daughter’s dowry fund.

We are officially bankrupt now. But the house looks so lovely for Christmas! Sigh.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wanted - A Quantum of Solace

I saw a Quantum of Solace over the weekend. If I were to condense the movie, it would go like this:

M: Is he alive?
James Bond: Yes!
M: Well, that is unusual!

That in very brief was a brief on the new Bond movie "Quantum of Solace"

You can meat up the above dialog with high speed metal crushing car chases, bone crushing foot chases, muscles ripping scaffold chases and ear drum piercing Dolby Surround Sound system all ending in Bond killing someone and the nerve wrecking picture is complete. And when you walk out of the theater your nerves short circuited, your hair standing on one end, you will need more than a quantum of solace for sitting through ‘Quantum of Solace’.

I was amongst the privileged many to be invited to the premiere of “Quantum of Solace" in Bangalore last Friday! In fact the whole theater was filled with such 'privileged' people. As a token of our appreciation for the free passes, some of us stayed back after the ‘Interval’. To the ingrates who left after the interval (thoughtfully provided half an hour before the movie ends) I have only this to say: I HATE YOU ALL!

People, who intend to watch this movie, may please leave this blog immediately or you may end up spending your money constructively on pirated DVD. So read on at your own risk!! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

If you had a stressful week like I had, then “Quantum of Solace” is not for you. It's like having a brain surgery after a root canal procedure and then going in for a voluntary amputation of a limb!

In the very first scene of the movie, you are brutally shoved into a fast moving car hurtling on a narrow mountain road with fast moving vehicles approaching from the other direction. The traffic on this road will make Bangalore roads hang their potholed heads in shame! And the speed of the traffic will make the Bangalore traffic coppers look at each other and say “Mommmy”. After which they will resolve to be nicer to us and bribe us a little less.

The high octane chase ends in another hemisphere of the Earth, and we have Bond parking his battered car now bereft of doors, roof and chassis and engine and retrieving a captive from the boot of his car. The captive is in remarkable condition, considering he has been lying in the boot trussed up without a seat belt. A lesser mortal would have leaked out through the car in liquid form after the pulverizing!

While the captive is being interrogated by MI5, a different drama was being played out in another place…behind my seat. It was a more thrilling and sinister drama than the one on the screen.

Kid in back seat: Mujhe Popcorn chahiye!!
Kids mom: Abhi nahin Munna. Papa aane ke baad.
Munna: *bawl*
Papa to Mom: Why don’t you give him something else?
Me: Yeah right! How about a duct tape around his mouth?
Mom: *Glare*
Papa to the someone on the phone: Haanji aapka consignment nikal gaya hai!
Munna: Shriieeekkkkk!!!!!!!!!

While ‘Munna was Shrieking’ (which would be a nice name for a Bond movie name btw) there is mayhem in the interrogation room as the captive escapes with the help of a mole! Bond takes off at supersonic speed after the mole….on foot… breaking the world record in the 100 meter dash and a few limbs and lots of roof tiles in the process. He catches up with him… after running over several roofs and jumping from building to building and swinging across scaffoldings like a modern day Tarzan to shoot him dead while suspended from the ceiling from one leg. But before the bullet finds his heart, the mole had already passed away …from laughing his guts out at the sight!

After this we have Bond suddenly taking off to Haiti and killing another guy, chumma just like that! The tension in the story is broken by some humongous dialogs like this.

M: *mumble*
Bond: *hrmphfxl*

The audience consisting mostly of corporates (read: techies) who had come geared up (read: drunk) to whistle, clap and roar were left whistling, clapping and roaring to the Trailer of Gajini and Dostana. Quite disconcerting actually to see young men roaring as a hunky John Abraham emerged out of water Bond like, wearing nothing but an attitude!

Soon we were engrossed in another high speed boat chase that has the beautiful Camille, hanging on for dear life from a boat that seems to take off to the blue yonder every two seconds to come crashing on the baddies boat every three seconds. Remarkably, she too survives the bone crushing, spirit ejecting ride and Bond leaves her to attend a party in Austria. The party is boring (read: no major chases and kills) and soon we have Bond flying to someplace in Chili on a very old airplane held together by staplers and safety pins and glue. He gallantly ignores the private Lear Jet also on hire in the deserted Chilean desert. The plane owner immediately calls up the baddies and tells them of the mad man who hired his junk. They pass out laughing. Kidding! They send an F 16 to shoot down Bond and he evades them with the dexterity of a sluggish sloth trying to evade a sinewy Leopard (remember, old plane). The cat fight in the sky totally puzzles everyone and more than a dozen orders for F 16 planes are canceled around the world. Kidding again! It was more than two dozen orders of F 16 actually!

Much to the relief of the Americans, the F 16 does manage to damage the old warhorse and it crashes billowing fat clouds of smoke and debris ( god bless its brave heart). You feel sad for the wretch thrust into such an unfair fight. Bond and Camille manage to jump ship and open the only parachute between them just before touchdown. They hit the earth with a resounding thud. Then they burn down a nice eco hotel in the middle of the desert.

Your misery ends when Bond finally catches up with his main target i.e his ex girl friends ex lover. He does not kill him as Bond finally decides to heed M’s request that “Bond, if you don’t go around killing every suspect, it would be deeply appreciated.”

Kidding again! He does not kill him as the fall from the airplane hurts real bad you see.

There were some entertaining parts to the movie though! Namely the scene that says - "The End"

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Those 70's movie shows!

My Dad, unlike most normal Dads was hell bent on showing his kids the movies of the 70’s and 80’s when he was a young man dreaming of Hema Malini and Sharmila Tagore ( shh don’t tell my ma). Now back in the 90’s, the good old VCD’s ruled the roost. Hindi movies of those days were replete with scenes that my Mom pointed out was not exactly wholesome for her children to view. So my Dad became a sort of an amateur movie editor. And his ham handed editing scarred us forever.

Scene one:

Villain has trapped a girl in a room. He is slowly inching towards the girl, lust in his eyes. The girl has nowhere to run.

Villain: heh heh
Girl: Nahiiiin!
Girl’s mother to shopkeeper: Yeh Bhindi kitne ke diye? (How much do these ladiesfinger cost!)
Girl: *puking*
Mother: Nahiiiin!
Us: Huh?
Dad: ermm!

Now imagine a first night scene!

Hero: I love you!
Heroine: *blush*
Heroine to her mother: Mein maa banne waali hoon!
Mother to Dad: Sunte ho heroine ke bapu. Aaap nana banne waale ho!! I am so happy!
Us: Duh!
Dad: err orange squash anyone?

Sometimes my Dad was a little quicker with the scissors or whatever it was he used to edit the movie. And we had scenes like this.

Villain: heh heh
Girl: Nahiiiin!
Hero: (shooting the villain): Kuththe Kameene!
Us: Poor guy!
Dad: No! No! He is not the good guy!!!
Us: Why?
Dad: Chips anyone?

Normal kids grew up applauding the hero as he thrashed the daylights out of the villain. We grew up pitying the poor villain who seemed to do nothing but go “heh heh.” He had a funkier hairdo than the hero and a lot of stamina to withstand the thrashing he would get from time to time. If I were asked to make a five minute Hindi movie, it would go like this.

Hero: I love you!
Heroine: I love you too!

Any ways after watching the Hindi movies of that era, I have more or less become an expert in the salient points and characters that make up the movie.

1. The elderly woman with the saree pallu draped around her head and a big red bindi denotes a chaste pati vrata naari , indulgent mother and wonderful cook who whips up 75 courses meals with her smile and pallu intact. She has witnessed first hand the battle of Mahabharatha and the unfolding of the Ramayan. She is on first name basis with the presiding deity at the temple nearby! Preferred background score when she is around: The sweet sound of Bansuri or Flute!

2. A frail old man in a kurta pyjama is almost always the father who works hard at the villains factory for a pittance. He is a sincere and dedicated worker who sticks to his job even though he has not been paid for the past 72 years! He suffers from a chronic cough that may be used to kill him off if the script demands. Preferred background scores for Pitaji: A mournful violin recital.

3. If their daughter is shown plain and with a cherubic character, then she is sure to get raped by the villain so that her brother, the hero has enough ammo to go after the villain. She will commit suicide after she vomits.

4. If the sister is shown wearing short mini skirts and revealing clothes then she is a bad bad girl and will surely fall under the charm of the villain’s lackey and get pregnant. Hearing this father will suffer a heart attack and die leaving the family destitute. The sister will turn a new leaf overnight and wear simple cotton sarees and begins going to the temple morning, evening and night. She will eventually marry the father of her child after the last scene when the Hero beats him up black and blue and is about to crush his head with a rock the size of Mt Abu. She will intervene just before the Hero crushes his head by imploring the Hero to spare the father of her unborn son or crush her too with the ten tonner of a rock. The father of the unborn child is immediately due to a chemical reaction, transformed into a good man who will promptly agree to marry her without a DNA test of the baby.

5. A woman in a saree with her eyebrows shaped in a sharp arc is the vixen of the piece. Her make up is harsh so that you don’t mistake her to be the loving mother. And to drive home the point that she is the villainous of the piece, the preferred background scores for her will wear out the cymbals and drums of the orchestra.

6. The gal who arrives into the camera frame in slow motion, tossing her hair to some electric music is the Heroine. The Hero instantly falls in love with her. She instantly dislikes him. Then they sing a song picturised around ten International Gardens spanning seven countries. She falls in love with him after the song is over. Then they introduce themselves.

7. The man with the really bad wig, sun glasses and cheap Cigar is the villain! He will sit on a papier-mâché throne in front of a bar with foreign scotch whiskey bottles filled with what looks like weak tea surrounded by a bevy of beauties called Mona, Monica, Ruby and Julie, not necessarily in that order.

8. The Villain will almost always kidnap the Heroine and keep her captive in a dilapidated Architectural Society of India (ASI) fort. The fort has huge walls with "Raja loves Rani" and "Jesus saves!" kinda scribbling all over.

9. The Hero will home in on the ASI Fort ignoring the other 4567 forts under its aegis with the precisions of a GPRS device within minutes of the kidnap.

10. The mother of all battles happen in the last scene when the dilapidated fort is made further berefit of huge rocks that the Hero takes to throw at the Villain and his hired men.

11. The Police arrive at the fag end of the movie without an FIR being filed. This is a miracle of sorts in India and happens only in Hindi movies. They will immediately spot and arrest the baddies from the milling crowd of people beating each other to pulp.

12. Hero and heroine are immediately beamed up to a marriage pandal where they smile bedecked at the camera and the legend “THE END”

And they look genuinely happy it is over!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

An ode to Ms Mary!

I got a mail
from a Ms Mary

She is got Viagra
she says

Ms Mary if you are reading this poem
just a note to say
that it is kinda hard to
control my laughter

when your full name
is Mrs Mary Slaughter!


Yeah I suck at poetry I know! But what the heck I have been spammed!

Jest a smole note to dell you peobles that regular pawst will be up on Sunday! When the Bose is away it is awl work and no pley! Sigh!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

When the Boss is away...

Dear Boss,

Just a small mail to tell you how much I am missing you. Please come back. I know that you and your family deserve this hard earned vacation but you have certain duties too you know…if I may put it that way.

Let me tell you of the happenings in office while you are away.

1. I have taken your place as Bulldog now. I am sorry we called you that. (Which means they must be calling me Hitler, imperialist and slave driver too... *sob*)

2. People are wondering if you have picked me up from NIMHANS. And a certain group of people are scouring the HR manual to ascertain if "mentally challenged" people come under the purview of our "Equal Opportunity” employment guidelines.

3. I did not know that Foxy needs to be guided like a spastic from his chair to the meeting. He got lost yesterday and landed up in another meeting where he took some serious notes. His handwriting is very nice though.

4. Mr. IT Architect is driving everybody up the wall. He keeps his servers droning (he says it is humming) throughout the day. The notice next to the sever that says "Do not switch this off" has become "Switch this damn thing off". Currently he has asked for a security camera to focus on his work station to catch the culprits. We tried to circumvent the camera like in those Hollywood movies to no avail. Then we hit upon a brilliant idea! Bribe the Security man. It worked!! The security camera is now turned off from time to time so that we can switch the servers off. Mr IT Architect thinks he is spooked tee hee. It is fun btw.

5. Got to tell you about Ms Blah Blah. When you come back allow me to prostrate before you in absolute admiration. I came close to strangling her about 450 times yesterday. After the 451st attempt, they had to restrain me and HR asked me to take the day off. Then she slapped Ms Blah Blah. I protest! That was not very professional. I want my rightful chance to slap her too hmmpph!

6. Most of the people here are getting themselves treated for CMTD (compulsive multiple tab disorder). The treatment it is hoped will allow them to surf the web without tabs when you are not around.

The list is long, and right now I am realizing what it is you put up with. 12 very individual individuals of which one is cracked, one is absent minded, one thinks he is spooked and one goes blah blah blah and the rest are always browsing the web.

So Boss, please come back soon. I promise to behave myself in the future. *sob*

Your very sad Marcom Manager,


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Reality Cheque!

"Anjali" said the boss with a pained expression. "Why are you" he faltered as he searched for a suitable word, “ cheap!" he finished with a look of shame and grief.

"I am cheap I know," I said defensively "but I have my reasons." I finished my voice quavering. My face burnt with shame.

“What could be a possible reason for this!!!” exclaimed the boss in a pained voice!

“There are somethings you won’t understand” I said resignedly.

“Try me.” said the boss kindly.

“I cannot manage with the money I get. So I have to do this to make ends meet" I explained my eyes welling up with tears.

“But there are more honorable ways to make ends meet you know!" exclaimed the Boss.

“This is my business!" I said firmly. I didn’t want to be judged by people who did not know what my circumstances were. That was none of their business. I do my work to the best of my abilities and people should confine themselves to that!

Boss sighed and looked away. He couldn’t look at me. It is sometimes hard to accept certain indigestible facet of a person you thought you knew well. I could not meet his eyes either. As I walked away I could feel his gaze boring into my back. I didn’t have to turn back. I knew there was anguish in his eyes.

On the other side of the cubicle the other marketing managers sniggered. Everyone had heard the exchange. Everyone knew. My ears burned. But I walked out off the floor my head held high.

Boss looked at my receding back for sometime and got back to work with a heavy heart. He took out the pens that I had ordered for the event and looked at the bill. Each pen cost Rs 5/-. He sighed. How could he give these low cost pens to the people who would attend the event he wondered? What would they think?

He opened the box of pens the other team had ordered. They were Rs 15/- a piece. Boss thanked his stars that the team was able to spare him some for his event. He took out the fifteen rupee pens gratefully and...almost passed out when he beheld them. It was the exact same type of pens that I had ordered!! But unlike his smart, astute, sharp, shrewd, canny, clever, streetwise, and very intelligent and sophisticated marketing communications manager, his peer's marketing managers had paid Rs 15/- a piece!!

He never called his Marcom manager cheap again…for some time (He has a short memory). She on the other hand bought Nike Tee Shirts for the entire team with the money she saved.

Conversation heard on the floor the next day.

Boss of other teams to their Marketing Managers: Look at that Silverine's team members. Always wearing Nike, Reebok or Adidas Tee Shirts. Why do we have to wear these saggy baggy Tirupur T shirts? Why are you all so cheap?????

Monday, October 13, 2008

Road pests!

There is a species of people on Bengaluru roads that requires me to immediately buy an AK 47 or Kalashnikov and or a hand held rocket launcher!! And if I cannot procure the aforementioned weaponry then I am gonna settle for my mother’s Vakkathi *!! I am that pissed off!!

And if I cannot get a Vakkathi then I might in desperation have to take my eyebrow tweezers to poke these people in the eye!!!

Now if you are rolling your eyes wondering why I am frothing in the mouth on a foul Monday morning then hear me out. There is this species of homo sapiens in Bengaluru who consider themselves the self appointed guardians of bike headlights! They live and breathe bike headlights and they get pained to see one burning during daytime. Their aim in life is to spot a burning headlight and inform the rider no matter what the circumstance. If they were to spot a Formula One car with its headlights on, they would jump into the race track risking their life and limbs to inform the driver. I guess they were born that way.

Mother (to her six month old baby): Say “mama” sweetheart! There’s a good boy!
Baby: Your bike headlight is on!
Mother: Sigh!

Now you see what I am up against?

Let me describe this species for you. They are mostly pedestrians and come in all age group, sizes gender and ethnicity. While their intentions are good their mode of communication is rather dramatic and its after effects catastrophic!

The moment these people spot a burning headlight they go stiff, their hair stands on one end, eyes pop out of the socket and they get that horrified look on their faces as though they are witnessing an alien baby bursting out of your stomach! And thats not all! They will then lift a quivering finger and point to you gesticulating wildly with the other hand making you lose control of the bike in absolute fright! And if you don’t get a heart attack looking at them, you will definitely come under a BMTC bus, lorry, army truck or Hoysala! And if you are lucky and escape coming under the aforementioned vehicles then you jam your brakes in fright so hard, that the resultant traffic pile up has a cascading effect till the new Bangalore Airport!!

It doesn’t matter to our guardian angels that you almost lost your life and limb because of their concern for the headlight. As far as they are concerned...BIKE HEADLIGHTS SHOULD NOT BE ON DURING DAYTIME!!!

Now if you see a girl in a black Honda Activa with a big knife jutting out of her hand bag, stay clear. And if you want her to continue blogging, please depose on her behalf in court. They don’t provide Internet connection in jail, especially for prisoners on death row I heard.

*really big knife!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Memoirs of a suppressed artist

Warning: Ah well you all know what it is by now!

I suck at lying. Now...I am no angel, just Untruth Challenged. "Face the music girl" said my dad when I was 5 years old and knee deep in trouble. I had gone and written all over my second brother’s untidy home work book with my crayons. I am talking Camlin crayons that is next to impossible to rub off. Now 8 year old boys are not exactly the big brotherly types. They are wont to regard anyone younger to them by a second as pests. They don’t go "ooh look she has drawn a Butterfly in my Maths Class Work book. Cho chweeeet" They are more likely to go "THWACK" followed by grounding for one week for hitting "poor little defenseless baby sister and I don’t want to hear what she did grrr"

My brother didn't need to hire the Scotland Yard to investigate the butterfly in his notebook. All he needed was Scotland yards best ladder as I was very good in climbing trees when I had drawn butterflies and houses in his books. Though I did not know why he was so mad, I knew that my drawing angered him for some reason. I had no clue about home work books and how mad teachers became when it had crayon scribbles all over it. Amongst the list of "Most Corny Excuses for not doing Homework” compiled by the teachers in my brother’s school, the most prominent were:

My sister tore my home work.
My sister wrote on the homework and I found out only this morning.
My sister took my home work book and she doesn't remember where she kept it.
I have a younger sister.

His teachers tut tutted when they saw me and patted my head gently muttering "Such an angel and that M makes out to be a devil tch tch!!"

When I was born, the writing was on the wall for my parents that the house walls were for writing and not for holding their home together and segregating rooms. And it took nine long years for them to finally retrieve the walls from my firm grip and scrape off the ten inch thick coating of crayon wax and restore its dignity and rightful duties. There was not an inch of space on our walls that didn’t have my drawings. When in the night, my parents lay exhausted in their bed, they would look up and thank god that I couldn't reach the ceiling. And then I guess they felt bad and counted their blessings because I never got punished for the same I remember.

Punishment is a big no no with my Dad. He is an engineer and like most engineers he tends to use his professional qualifications a tad too seriously. I mean he believes in STRATEGY!! Every problem in life had to be dealt with a pre approved strategy.

His first strategy was to buy me a blackboard. A very effective strategy it turned out to be too…for some time. I scribbled on the blackboard to my hearts content and when I couldn't scribble anymore as the thick layer of crayon wax prevented anymore writing, I wandered to the walls.

Strategy Number I was quickly reassessed and Strategy Number I Version 2 was released. Strategy Number I Version 2 was combing the house with a fine tooth comb for crayons and then throwing them all out and buying me chalk and a new blackboard. This strategy was also very effective...for sometime. I drew to my hearts content on the black board and then when the black board was full of avant garde art, I continued to the walls. My parents looked at each other and realized with a sinking feeling that buying a black board without a duster was not exactly the thing that got you a Nobel Prize for Foresightedness.

Strategy Number I Version 2 was rehashed and Strategy Number I Version 3 was released soon after. According to the specifications of this strategy a duster had to be bought post haste and it was done! This strategy worked fine for some time too and then my parents found a bug in this strategy too. A rather annoying bug that necessitated either one of them to come to my room and clean the blackboard about 567 times a day. You don’t expect a 5 year old, running on 6 to clean a giant black board do you duh! On retrospect that should have held onto Strategy Number I Version 3, because nothing is more effective in curbing a child than asking her to clean up after her. He /she soon learns that throwing mud on the floor is not fun and throwing water on the bed is also not fun nor writing on the wall. But my parents were not yet the hardened parents they are now, and we should excuse their inexperience and subsequent failures at the hands of a very experienced child.

We are err I am digressing peoples and if any of you are not snoring by now, let me tell you of Strategy Number I Version 4 that was rolled out by my parents soon after. My father as usual was the Project Manager and my mother, the Team Lead. It was decided by unanimous consent that they would ‘hire’ two techies to do their lowly jobs as part of Strategy Number I Version 4. Soon two techies were "hired" to do the code (“Clean her blackboard or else!!!”). Pleased with the success of Strategy Number I Version 4, my parents resumed their role as homemaker and breadwinner. All was well in the house after that for day. The lowly techies like most techies got fed of the constant coding err dusting and one of them whose name starts with the alphabet M, devised a novel plan to get rid of the job. He – you wont believe this- introduced a bug in the code!! He secretly bought a box of crayons and gave it to me. Soon the techies were back to their life of doing what they usually do and Project Manager and Team Lead faced another failure.

And pssst they never found how I got the crayons and blamed the school for the free crayons we got in art class.

Blackboard was thrown off and my parents sat and scratched their head for a new strategy! My mother felt that next strategy should have a healthy amount of spanking for better implementation! My Dad was horrified and vehemently turned it down for Strategy Number I Version 5! Strategy Number I Version 5 involved painting about 5 feet of the wall from the ground in oil paint. Strategy Number I Version 5 was a huge success. Fed up of the wall refusing to accept crayon, pencil or water color markings, I retired to other activities. But then the artist in me was not satiated. The urge to scribble soon overcame me and one day my mother gasped and nearly fainted when she beheld her expensive sofa with multicolor balloons carefully drawn with red, green and blue crayons. The dining table too was decorated by art nouvelle and so were the cupboard doors and doors.

My mother had enough and read the riot act to her daughter and her daughter’s father. Henceforth, she declared, every scribbling on the wall and elsewhere had to be cleaned up by the artist and her father. Failing which she would take her sons and go to “her” fathers home! Faced with the possibility of scraping acres of walls, furniture, dogs, neighbors, relations, dhobi etc off wax crayons, the father formulated Strategy Number I Version 6. According to this strategy, the two lowly techies were re-recruited by the scruff of their collars and drafted to remove every piece of writing material in the house on a daily basis and keep it in the shoe box on the cupboard. Strategy Number I Version 6 was a resounding success.

By the time I was eight, the artist in me was deader than a dodo. The family heaved a sigh of relief till the tailor in me raised its head. But that is another story I will tell another day. But for one long year, people in the house had to endure their shorts, shirts and sarees being cut into shreds. Nothing very unusual you might think. But this happened when they were “wearing those pieces of clothing” you see. :p

Have a nice weeks folks!

Happy Dassera!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A hot and happened weekend

Yesterday as is the practice for the last twoindy years ( err one year actually, please excuse the Akkarakazhchakal overdose), we have been going to Jyoti Nivas College (JNC) to cheer for our college in the inter college Mad Ad competition. After screaming our self hoarse for our college and their spectacularly pathetic performance (so what duh!), we stumbled out hungry, hyper, hoarse and hot (not necessarily in that order) onto the road. Hungry because of the lusty screaming from 10 am onwards. Hoarse because of the hysterical screaming to drown out the rabid screaming of the Christ College and Joseph junta. Hyper because of the screaming competition over which nobody could hear anything and that included the judges. And hot because jumping up and down and screaming makes you really hot (hot as in thermal hot peoples…sigh)!!

As the junta poured out onto the road after the competition, we looked around for a place where we could sit down, compose our selves and stuff our faces. Most of the places were crowded. Cursing the JNC’ites because we were jealous that they had so many eateries around their college and because they gave a better performance than our wimps err I mean college, we trouped into a typical Bangalore Darshini. Now Darshinis have sentimental attachments for us Bangaloreans. Most collegians in Bangalore have derived 90% of their sustenance from Darshinis. It is not like our mothers did not cook in the house. But as soon as you got into college, as though by a genetic signal you start eating at least two meals a day in these Darshinis.

A typical Darshinis will have the word “Sagar” as an appendage after its name, for instance Jayanthi Sagar, Shanthi Sagar etc. These small self service restaurants will have only tables and no chairs. Some tables will be rectangular where more than six people can place their plates. Some will be circular where not more then two or three people could stand and eat. People grabbed their plates and placed it on any vacant space and ate. The tables will be occupied with strangers, eating comfortably oblivious to each other.

During college days we went en masse to these Darshinis for our breakfast, lunch, snacks etc. If we got separated into different tables then we performed an instinctive unconscious ritual called “edging”. Edging consisted of edging in as soon as a space next to your friend at her table got vacant till all group members were at one table! At this juncture the cashier can be seen beating his head against the cash counter and tearing his hair out in despair. This was not due to dandruff or head lice as you horrible people think. But due to the frustrating realization that he will have to kiss that table and the business it generates goodbye till every single girl in the group had finished eating, which could take a painful half an hour to 45 minutes or more. The maximum time a Darshini table in the self service zone is occupied is 10 minutes, No more! Oblivious to the howls and scowls and grumbles of the cashier cum manager, we would hang in there till the last girl had finished eating. A Darshini is a eating in a fast lane kinda zone. We did not care what zone it was! We had our own rules and regulations and due to the custom of a Darshini where minimal exchange of communication takes place between staff and patrons, no one ever asked us to get lost!!

Yesterday we fortunately got a table all to ourselves. Soon we all had our orders and were eating and yakking and giggling all at the same time. Well…there was more yakking than eating going on and the Cashier, an old man looked languidly on as it was almost 3 pm and close of the lunch rush hour. Now when our group eats, it looks like a sampling extravaganza. Everyone eats from everyone else’s plate. Somebody ate your vadai? Then you go and pick up another one. Zimble. While we were busy yakking and eating, we did not notice the place filling up and a young nondescript guy came and put his plate at our table and proceeded to eat his Naan and Peas curry timidly. Oblivious to his appearance we continued yakking and eating what we fancied from each others plate. Suddenly I realized that I had an onion ring in my hand and all of us had ordered south Indian food which doesn’t have onion rings as an accompaniment. With a sinking feeling I looked at the guy’s plate and realized to my horror and embarrassment that he had onion rings in his plate!!! I almost passed out with embarrassment! The poor guy continued eating timidly, oblivious to what had happened or perhaps a bit hurt by the insensitive girl at his table. I was mortified. I did not dare tell anyone or I would be butt of jokes for the next 150 years :( I did tell them after we were out of the place and my ears had stopped burning. And then I had to endure the ignominy of watching them rolling on the road laughing. Sigh!

About the competition folks…the biased, cruel, dishonest, improper, inequitable, iniquitous, oppressive, partial, prejudiced, and wrongful judges give the award to the Josephites grr. Agreed…our performance sucked, correction it sucked big time but that is no excuse for NOT giving us the award!!! We were by far the prettiest team!! So there!!

Have a nice week folks. I will be in a grouchy mood this week. Be nice to me please…like not mentioning the word “onion rings” while commenting ok?

Monday, September 22, 2008

What’s in a name, namme, nname or nnamme?

“Where is Rajesh?” asked the Boss.
“Which Rajesh?" I countered. "The one with two R's in his name or two A's or with two S's?”
“The guy with the two J's” replied the Boss.
“Ah! He is on leave today.”

Boss had reasons to be peeved. Rajjesh was our single point of contact with the Sales Tax people and we needed some tax queries addressed for the CEO before the end of the day. He was in a spot now. So we, i.e. the Boss and I decided to ask around the office for people who could help us.

First we went to the Finance department. Besanth was the right guy we were told, but he was in a meeting with the Auditor. His colleague Girish was on a conference call while Asha, another colleague was on half day leave. Since this was a Sales Tax matter we were told that Bbesanth from Pre Sales would be the next best person to talk to. But Bbesanth from Pre Sales was not in his seat and his colleague Raman was busy. Raman however informed us that Assha from Sales may able to help us. Assha was helpful but she needed to clarify certain matters with Rraman her boss before she gave us any info she said. Rraman was traveling but his assistant manager Sanjay was very helpful. Sanjay directed us to Manjunath who introduced us to Girrish who was able to shed some more light on the matter.

Soon we had 75% of the information we needed and took the papers to our Legal Counsel Sanjayy for final whetting before submission. Sanjayy took a look at the papers and directed us get the papers stamped by his assistant. We went over to his assistant Maxine’s desk who stamped the papers and asked us to submit the stamped papers to Latha the corporate counsel. Latha gave us the final approval after she had her assistant Manjjunaath to read it over once. On our way back to our floor, we met Maxxine who was of no help to us so we ignored her.

Despite our best efforts we could not get the remaining 25% of the information we needed and by evening we had to face an uncomfortable truth that we had covered every single English alphabet twice over but for the alphabet “Z”. Err... what I meant to say was that by evening we had to face the uncomfortable truth that we did not have all the information the CEO wanted.

But then our ever dependable consultant Zarine came to our rescue and with the help of Zarine, we were finally able to cover all the English alphabets twice over. I mean...with the help of Zarine we were able to address all our sales tax queries. We handed over the completed info that the CCEO (formerly CEO) had asked for, to his secretary Zarrine.

And since we met with success in our venture, we i.e. the Boss and I have decided to not change our names to “Bboss” and “Annjjalli” as suggested by Lattha’s numerologist.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Only Yan can cook Chinese

I picked up a packet of Knorr Szechuan Mix and Knorr Chinese Manchurian Mix from Monday2Sunday the other day. The packet looked promising, the brand name reassuring. Having burnt my hand trying to make Chinese which never comes out the way the restaurants prepare it, I was wary. But I decided to give this a try as the photo on the packet promised me of instant Chinese Cuisine Superstardom. I could almost see the beaming faces of my Dad, mom, brothers and dogs sitting on the dining table, eating away in complete silence broken only by ecstatic gasps and admiring nods towards me. Then they all fall at my feet and pay homage to thunderous music in the background, followed by Chef Yan of 'Yan can Cook' fame sliding down a helicopter and presenting me with a Golden Wok for the spectacular feat of being the only non Chinese in the world, who made authentic Chinese food, while TV reporters throng my door.

A smug smile played on my lips as I picked out the vegetables that the packet mentioned should be used along with the powder in the packet. I came home and walked into the kitchen with a mysterious smile. I was going to surprise everyone!!! And what a surprise it was!! They were left gasping...literally.

I prepared the Szechuan sauce and the Chinese Manchurian sauce exactly as instructed on the packet. Then I fried the Paneer and the vegetable balls also as instructed on the packet. It is a very easy process and you cannot go wrong, right? Wrong!! Everything will go wrong with this dish. Read on and you will find out how. Then I put the fried Paneer and vegetable balls and mixed it into their respective sauces and viola...really terrible Chinese food was ready to eat!!

All I could taste was saltiness and sourness in the thick sauce. Absolutely no flavor!!

Chinese Manchurian tasted like Salt +Bitter sauce
Szechuan tasted like Salt+ Sweet Sauce

Try as I could, I could not get any other flavor from the bland sauce!!! Just plain thick sauce with salt flavor. (Please note I mean salt as a flavor and not “salty”) I thought perhaps, keeping the mixture aside will allow the flavor of the paneer and vegetable balls to permeate into the sauce. But half an hour later the sauce and the paneer and vegetable balls were still strangers and refusing to mix with each other. I felt like a hostess who invites the entire village for dinner only to realize that the cook she hired was not a cook but the village butcher!!

I had already ordered Fried Rice and Noodles from a nearby restaurant to “accompany” my gastronomic feat! But it ended up the main course and the “only” course that day! People who tasted the Knorr Wonder were unanimous that I needed a good ass whopping.

But let us look at the bright side friends…yes there is one. Yan did come down that helicopter and thwacked me hard for attempting to cook Chinese with something that is named “Knorr”!! And then the TV reporters laughed at my face and my family threw me out to introspect on the carnage I delivered to the lunch table. I am back home dear friends, but the very mention of "KNORR" has my entire family including dogs go GRR!!!

So all you bachelors and bachelorettes out there, please don’t waste your money buying this abomination. If you have too much, kindly send them over to me. Right now my tongue needs intensive care having lost all its taste eating the insipid goo!! Yeah, my parents made me eat it. “No wasting food” rules are still very much in place in the house. *sigh*

One Knorr Chinese - Rs 25/-
Vegetables and other ingredients - Rs 50/-
Look on peoples face when they ate the end product - Priceless!

There are some things money Knorr a Mastercard can buy! And that's learning from past experiences that only the Chinese can cook Chinese! :(

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What's in a name? Everything!

I went to pick up some provisions today for our office Onam function and a product on the store shelf, bought some memories flooding back. A particularly revolting and gross memory that I had successfully regressed myself from over a period of time.

Last year we i.e. my department were invited for a party at a senior management types, house. The occasion was a spectacular performance by our team.

The evening was fun with cocktails, good food and camaraderie and a general feeling of well being. Yours truly was on antibiotics and had to regretfully say no to some fine wine being served by the host and his gracious wife.

The plush Duplex apartment reverberated with the sound of laughter and clinks of fine crystal glasses. As the evening progressed, people formed interest groups and chatted away while an unobtrusive waiter refilled their glasses with some of the finest liquor from around the world.

I was standing in a group comprising of the Boss, the host and a lady colleague from another department. The conversation was engrossing with equal participation from everyone. Midway through the conversation, the host looked at his wrist watch and his half empty glass and languidly reached over to the side cabinet and picked up a packet of Sat Isabgol ( natural laxative). And then, in front of my disbelieving eyes, he poured some of its contents into his glass. He then picked up a spoon, mixed the drink briefly and emptied the glass in one big gulp. The conversation continued unabated around him. Then he poured some water into his glass and downed the remaining stuff that was stuck to his glass.

I looked at Boss but he was pretty intent at driving home a point with the lady. The lady was busy trying to get a word in edgewise, which is next to impossible with my Boss. I managed to keep a straight face for the rest of the evening. When I could not bear it, I laughed uproariously at Boss PJ’s. Finally when I got a chance, I told him of the incident. And then I watched with great satisfaction as he desperately fought to keep a straight face for the rest of the evening.

And if you are wondering why the Boss was having such a tough time keeping a face straight...well...sometime back (as is the practice with Boss with people who piss him off), he had nicknamed the host, 'tightass'!


Thursday, September 04, 2008

Ze vintage art de ordering food...blah!

Ze small print: Bhery bhery long post. Read if you are very busy and want a really really bad performance appraisal and or pink slip. For better results, please read during your performance appraisal.

I hate to order food! Period. I admire people who can order a good meal. Period. My second bro M is one such people, though I rather be dead than be seen eating with him in a restaurant. Period. In case you are wondering why, it is not such a nice sight to see two grown up siblings throwing food and cutlery at each other in a restaurant no? Not a very polite thing to do to people who have come to the restaurant for a quite meal and quality time together duh!

That reminds me of the time we actually sat at a restaurant alone for 5 minutes. The occasion was bro’s usual Friday lunch out with pals and pals grumbling that they had not see me for a trillion years which in guy language means two and half days. So I went to this restaurant to join them for Friday lunch and found my brother who had come early from some meeting. The both of sat and looked at the menu and by the time the waiter came to take our order, I was lunging at my brother with a knife and he was defending himself with a plate, napkin and flower pot. To cut a very very very long story short, the arrival of his friends and quick assurance to the management that they will ensure that no blood will be spilt during the course of lunch were we allowed to eat, but with wary bouncers keeping a keen eye on the warring siblings. They need not have bothered cos very soon M ordered food and there was absolute silence at the table but for the delicate chink of cutlery and the brief but muffled exclamations of gastronomic ecstasy, from the rest of the folks.

Anyways we have digressed friends. Let me get to the main course. Among my colleagues, Foxy is a good orderer (if there is such a term, if there is not, I am copyrighting it hmmph!). For a guy whose head is stuck in some other realm, he sure knows how to order food! He is a vegetarian, but his "orders" are simply non vegetarian…I mean delicious! He has this uncanny knack of ferreting out (literally) non existing items on the menu, for our dining pleasure. The trick is in asking the waiter I guess. I have asked too...

Me: And what else do you have besides the items listed in the menu?
Waiter: Nothing else besides the items listed in the menu duh!

Now see Foxy in action

Foxy: This Paneer dish...can we have this dry and a little less spicy?
Waiter: Sure sir, I can give you Paneer Akbari, Paneer Lal Mirch, Shredded Paneer with Coriander, Paneer Chutneywallah...
Foxy: Great! Hmm I don't see much variety in Dal…
Waiter: We also have Khata Meeta Dal, Dal Kohlapuri, Kathiawadi Dal, Navratan dal

I swear none of it was listed in the menu!!! Sigh. No wonder he gets invited out to every team meal in the company and from other companies in the campus too!! I guess I am just not into ordering food or I would also be like Foxy, eating out every week, one week with own company teams and the other week with competitor company teams. And pssst I don’t think the competitors are even bothered that Foxy is from a cut throat rival company.

Team lead: And now Foxy will order lunch for us. He is too good I tell you.
Team Member: And where do you work Foxy?
Foxy: XYZ Corporation!
Team Member: That makes us rabid rivals!! I should be strangling you heh heh!
Foxy: The feeling is mutual heh heh
Team Member (wagging his finger): Now remember young man, I am partial to Spinach.

Ordering food is an art I think and if ordering food is an art, then my bro is Vincent Van Gogh and I am a toddler with crayons. My policy is to flip to the rice section, then the chicken, then the veg and my order is complete! People like my brother and Foxy on the other hand, actually read the menu with a lot of chin scratching (too lazy to shave I guess) and hmmm's thrown in like they are reading a highly complex project specification. Which is perhaps what it is! Dining out is perhaps a very complex procedure which ordinary folks like me do not understand. I guess there are people who can order and those who cannot. I am happy not ordering. In fact I will be happy if someone serves me my food and feeds me too. I am a simple and uncomplicated person.

But people like my bro and many of you here are not the same. You "celebrate" food. Last Sunday, I keenly watched my brother in action as he went about ordering the family lunch. First it was a starter. My instinct was to protest. Starters spoil my appetite. But this time I kept quiet. I decided to watch and learn and not block my learning process with protests. M ordered two starters. And while the waiter went to arrange that, he carefully scanned the menu from top to bottom, page by page. I am sure he noticed the thickness of the paper the menu was printed in and the fonts too. Perhaps he noticed the color of the font and the design too which perhaps helps him in his awesome "ordering" capabilities. Then he called the head waiter for a chat. The chat went like this.

Bro: What do you recommend?
Waiter: Veg or Non Veg sir?
Bro: Both.
Waiter: In that case....

This became a long discussion on the days special, how it could be modified, and what accompaniments it complimented. After the discussion, while the rest of the family was busy with the starters (which I suspect is ordered to keep us bad orderers busy), he scanned the menu again and ordered what turned out to be a totally novel but perfect meal. None of it was what the Head Waiter recommended. Then why on earth did he have the conversation!! I have no idea. Perhaps, waiters and good "orderers" talk between the lines.

Bro: What can you give us in vegetarian?
Waiter: Bhindi Sunhari.
Bro: What bhindi do you use?
Waiter: Pure Bangalore bhindi Sir.
Bro: Which farm?
Waiter: Kempegowda’s farm.
Bro: He has two wives no?
Waiter: Yeah! This was from the land his second wife Yellamma tends to.
Bro: Ah! In that case tell me my man, what else you have in Vegetarian!

I am sure he follows the same procedure for non vegetarian too.

Waiter: And for the non vegetarian let me recommend, Lamb Tikka Lababdaar.
Bro: Lamb? How old?
Waiter: One year!
Bro: Good! And was it fed on cornmeal or natural grass?
Waiter: Natural Hosur grass Sir!!
Bro: And what lineage were his mother and father.
Waiter: Mother is a stock from Dharmapuri and father from Trichy.
Bro: One last question. What time was it born!
Waiter: IST or EST Sir?
Bro: IST my man!
Waiter: That would be precisely 19:40 hrs Sir!
Bro: In that case, we will have two plates my man!

And thus he ordered the perfect meal out of nowhere which I cannot, even if the Lamb was the Nawab of Lababdaar!

I so envy all you good “orderers”. Are you all members of the secret cult of “Great Meal Orderers”? In which case can I please snoop in on your meetings? I swear I will behave myself in the premises and not do unmemberly things like try and swat my brother. I also swear to listen to everything you discuss with great respect. I will even take notes!! Howzzat!!

Something tells me the answer is “No!!” Sigh.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

When he was sleeping...

R was sick. R is a typical guy. The type that doesn’t listen to his mommy. So mommy calls me up and tells me to baby sit her 22 year old sonny boy. Now puhleese folks, R is not my BF, but childhood friend and neighbor. So Sunday saw me take my lappie and head towards R's house as his folks had to go to this temple for some pooja. R was already in bed, snoring... drugged with the meds he was taking. Moiself decided to sit on the other side of the bed with the blanket around me as it is a cold and rainy Sunday here in Bangalore.

Pretty soon I was chatting with friends. A friend called Hira (real name), a simble mallu gal logged in from San Francisco. After the usual round of greetings, Hira concentrated her energies on me.

Hira: You at home or at Nina's place?
Me: I am at R's place.
Hira: R! And what you doing there?
Me: I am in bed with him!
Hira: What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: Don’t judge me too harshly dee :(
Hira: You alone in the house?
Me: Yeah! His parents have gone to Malleshwaram for some temple festival.
Hira: Anju, this is not right!!
Me: I know :(
Hira: Hope no one saw you coming here.
Me: I think Mallika aunty saw me. :(
Hira: This is not right!! Go home now!
Me: Well…
Hira: Did anything happen?
Me: Yes! :(
Hira: OMG!!
Me: *silence*
Hira: OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Me: *silence*
Hira: O H M Y GOD!!!
Me: :(
Hira: I can't believe this!!! You of all people!!!!
Me: I don’t know how it happened, but it did! :(
Hira: You get back home right NOW! I will call you.
Me: I can’t!
Hira: Why?
Me: I can’t dee! :(
Hira: Why!!! Is your clothes torn?
Me: ROTFL!!!!

I couldn’t continue the charade anymore, not while rolling on the floor laughing my guts out! The accused meanwhile, was fast asleep, not knowing that he had been framed, tried and found guilty of rape "WHILE HE WAS SLEEPING!!"

p.s It is so nice to be bad!! Made my day! *contended sigh*

Saturday, August 23, 2008


The most embarrassing moment of my life...

I don’t know how I am writing this post, but I am doing it because I want out with it!

I have this habit of making passwords that is derived from some event in daily life. I think an old post of mine covering my password travails is proof enough. So I have had passwords like, pulpyorange (cos I was drinking it at the time), techwebcasts ( cos I was recording sessions by technical experts for webcasts on that day), bangaloreblast ( needs no explanation) etc etc.

So I go to this guy blogger's comment section and write a comment and am busy signing in and don’t notice the cursor jumping to the comment box from the password log in area. I then notice that the password has not been typed in and so point the cursor into the password area again, completely ignoring the comment box and successfully publish comment. Luckily, I went back to the blog to check my comment again and was horrified to see this:

Nice post! I do agree with what you have written here about some girls being a pain during dates. I guess it is because we do not have a dating culture to have sufficiently developed dating etiquettes. periodpain

My hair stood on one end and my eyes popped out like in those cartoons, when I saw my password at the end of the comment. I deleted the comment at lightening speed and prayed rather fervently that they guy had not enabled the comments being mailed to his Inbox feature. I was sooooooo embarrassed for a couple of weeks after that! I still blush at the thought!

Never heard from the blogger again. Maybe he died of embarrassment too! :(

p.s someone please tell me you have done worse *sob*

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The wedding flashers!

Think “mallu Christian wedding” and the first thing that flashes in your mind is the flash of a camera. In fact, it is the first thing that greets you as you enter the church for the wedding. A blinding FLASH!! And while you grope around blinded by the flash, you are hit by yet another searing flash, this time the exposure is much longer as it is the Videographers lights being thrust in your face. This completely blinds you and you follow the rest of the church proceeding through a haze, blinking desperately in the vain hope that your vision will somehow surface out of the haze. And just when you are beginning to make out the faint outline of the fat aundy in the bench before you, comes another flash... 'tis time to be photographed as the attentive audience!!! (they have everything covered I tell you.)

You sink into darkness again. The audio is your only clue that the wedding is still going on and you are inside the church. By the time your vision is restored again, the wedding is over and you are wary. You look around wild eyed for the photographer and video guy, petrified they may appear from nowhere and flash you again! And after you spot them, you keep a keen bloodshot eye on them, ready to close your eyes the moment they spot you and say “Hey! Look a gal who can see!! Let’s go blind her!” You spend the rest of the time in the Church covering like an animal being stalked, your senses in full alert ready to flee at the first sign of the "Flash Team”.

When the family album is finally released via Picasa, you look the epitome of piousness with your eyes closed in "prayer" for most part of the wedding, except that smug smirk that will be dismissed by gushing relative as "spiritual ecstasy." Only you know about the middle finger you were holding up behind you. And if you are lucky, they will never catch you err photograph you doing that. (Warning: Please don’t try this during weddings. Only trained people are advised to try this stunt)

After the wedding is over, which you deduce by the Priest saying “I now bless you in the name of the Father *flash* the son *flash* and the Holy Spirit *flash**flash**flash**flash*" you open one eye warily and when the coast is clear i.e the “Flash Team” are flashing someone else ( Definition of’ flash’ and "flashing" - as in photographic flash, please note …sigh) you make a dash for the door.

If you are lucky you get away. But if you are family, then there is no way you will get out of the church without being subjected to some more flashing ( same definition as above). Those who still try will be met with sturdy aundies blocking their way. They are like bouncers, waiting to catch people running away from the mandatory family photograph!! You will be dragged kicking and screaming well...almost and put next to the bride and groom and you groan inwardly as the lights take aim. When the family album is out, you are either seen looking like a man being put in an incinerator, alive or like a poor blind relative.

After you have blinked like a tube light a couple of million times and retrieved your vision, it is time to go for the Reception. You don’t wanna go. But the sturdy aundies make sure everyone has boarded the various vehicles specially arranged to ensure that people do not escape the zapping session at the reception hall. You are transported like a trussed chicken to the reception hall where, if you are lucky, you will escape being flashed while getting down from the bus.

You look for a table away from the crowd, indistinguishable and preferably invisible and then fight a horde of people also looking for a table, away from the crowd, indistinguishable and preferably invisible. If you are lucky, the photo and video guy won’t notice the scuffle and land up to photograph “the event”. And if you are not lucky, the Picasa album will show a horde of blind people fighting over a nondescript table at a remote corner of the hall.

It is pure bliss when the Bride and Bride groom arrive at the reception hall, as every flash worth its weight in gold will be turned on them. You get a much deserved relief from the flash and time to repair your eyes before the next onslaught. After the toast and the cake cutting and the rest of the rituals are over, you groan as the “Flash Team” turns their gaze towards the crowd. From then on, you synchronize your visits to other tables with the Flash Team’s departure from the table. Then you realize that everyone is doing the same. When the Picasa album is aired for general viewing, it will show a whole crowd of people playing musical tables in the hall and a very bewildered “Flash Team” looking very bewildered at the unruly and uncreative crowd that refuses to sit still to be flashed.

Food is eaten at express speed when people see the “Flash Team” approaching and when they near their table the whole table gets up for dessert. Not to be outdone the “Flash Team” will follow them to the dessert section only to have the whole crowd escape back to their tables. The Flash Team, totally frustrated by now use the dreaded "Trap and Flash” tactics.

Err miss which is the non veg section?
To your right

Saar, where is the toilet?
This way!

Ladies! Which one of you is Shinty Thomas?
No one!
Thank you! *Flash*

Soon the Flash Team sits down to eat and you look around and find their equipment is missing. You join the general cursing that emanates from the masses similarly expressing their disappointment at their inability to smash the equipment. You promise to yourself that one day you will find it and smash it before the others!

Soon its time to go the bridegroom’s house for the “bride handing over ceremony”. The aundies ensure that you are once again transported willy nilly to the bridegrooms house. And if you have by any chance made any remark about the need to leave for home early to escape further flashing, then you will get the first chance to be flashed with the couple after the "bride handing over ceremony.”

While you grope your way out of the house, getting slapped and punched for touching people in the wrong places, you realize in a 'flash' that retinal damage, ligament tear and permanent blindness is all part of the fun of the big fat achayan wedding! :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Holy Molly!

I was reading this interesting piece of news the other day. Some scientists in the US err studied the mating behavior of the male Molly (sic) fish and found something the world never knew before about Molly fish. 'The male Molly fish doesn’t like to mate when being watched!'

Wow!! I could have told you that without any ‘study’!!

There are more interesting findings in this err study! According to the article, the male Molly fish shows scant regard to the lady he fancies, so that other males think that 'she is not good enough’ and thus be misled into ignoring her. This means all the other Molly males are also doing the same! Then how on earth do they manage to produce any baby Molly's at all!!

Which lead the researchers to the scientific conclusion that…

Male Molly fish are dumb!!

and that…

They will be extinct soon!

and further that…

all the lovely Molly ladies out there had better start looking elsewhere for love and babies! According to the scientists there are more then enough macho Trouts and Salmons out there, looking out for a sneaky affair and/or inter caste marriages!

And if they take the mallu route to naming their kids, we will soon have a lot of little Trolly's and Molmon’s gurgling joyfully in the streams (oblivious to the future when they grow up and go to ‘school’ with such names! )

Now if you are wondering why the researchers bothered to waste their time watching some dumb fishes and their unexciting procreational acts, then you will be surprised to know, that it was for the better understanding of the biological processes of marine life which will help researchers in stemming the decline in marine life in our water bodies.

Ha! Ha! Kidding! The real reason peoples was, *drum rolls* the study had grant of 14 million dollars!!!

Holy Molly! Now that’s a lot of money for watching fish porn err fish behavior don’t you think!!

Research anyone?

Original article here!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Whats the good word, again?

“Anjali!!" the voice crackled in the phone. “XYZ Newspaper is coming to interview your Boss. Get him ready for Press!”

“But” I interjected. “You guys are supposed to prime him for the Press!!”

“I want nothing to do with that Bulldog” snarled the PR Manager! And she slammed the phone down. I cursed the boss for calling her a beached whale and her, for calling him a Bull Dog and he in turn for calling her….never mind. Their petty quarrels had landed me in a thick soup now. I do have some PR experience, but this was an important interview and the Boss’s first interview too. An enormous responsibility lay on my shoulder and I knew that I had to deliver.

The right thing to do would be to resign and run away or run away without resigning. But then I have a notice period of two months to serve and the interview was a couple of days away!! So resignation was out of the question. Maybe I could contract Chicken Pox, I thought. All I have to do is drop into my old Alma Mater, and walk into the Primary Section and lo behold I would have Chicken Pox!! (Trust me it works! But then you may contract intestinal worms too, so be careful!)

Then it struck me that I had already finished with my bout of Chicken Pox!!! So I had to reluctantly discard that plan too. Which left me with one possible solution and that was *drum roll* waylay the reporter and kidnap him and threaten to kill him if takes the interview!! But then Mrs. Beached Whale would find another reporter to interview Mr Bull Dog err Boss!! Sigh!

So I decided to take the bull dog by its horn (goes without saying “no pun intended”). Bull Dog err Boss was very cooperative.

“Anjali, let me handle this” he said kindly!
“How many interviews have you given boss?” I asked, equally kindly!
“None” he said confidently!
“Then” I continued kindly. “Let ‘me’ handle this!”

The interview preparation of the most straight forward man in the universe began...right after I had lit 200 candles at Infant Jesus Church! This would be a more difficult task than making the Shiv Sena celebrate Valentine’s Day or persuading the Left parties in Kerala to give up their estates, lavish bungalows and TV channels! And hence the precaution.

With trepidation and a sense of impeding doom I took the Boss’s preparatory class.

Me: Boss, you must listen to the question properly. For example, "What does your quarterly result indicate?"
Boss: It means we are doomed :(
Me: Nooooo!!! err I do not summarize everything so succinctly Boss!!
Boss: What else can I say? The figures speak for themselves!! Hmmpph!
Me: You must say - "Current figures are reflective of industry trends and we are not expecting any deviation from the same. The market is however buoyant and we expect a significant though not major shift and a few surprises"
Boss: Please speak in English young lady!
Me (ignoring him): Try again. Here’s a question -“What do you think will be a significant contributor to your next quarterly results?"
Boss: People coming to work on time, taking shorter tea breaks, fewer leaves...aha ha ha!
Me: That was perhaps the poorest PJ I have heard!
Boss: :(
Me: Coming back to the question, you must reply - “I see a paradigm shift in market trends owing to the rapid changes in the industry's vertical focus…"
Boss (mouth agape): What was that again!!
Me( beaming rather proudly): That was deflective technology.
Boss: What’s that! Never heard of it before!
Me: That’s my parlance for ‘avoiding questions’ adroitly!
Boss: it possible for you to take the interview?
Me (reassuringly): You will do just fine. If you are lost, just look at me and I will take over.

The interview went fine … well nearly.

Journo: Mr Boss, how many years of experience do you have in this industry?
Boss: hmm let me think...
Me (quickly): Over 100 man hours in object-oriented design and implementation, Project management, Multiple processor use and runtime optimization, Solution Architecture, Enterprise, Solutions, Infrastructure besides vast experience in non technical skills like Performance Competencies.
Boss: Huh?
Journo: What are the challenges you are anticipating in the face of global recession.
Boss: To begin with...
Me: What he means is …right now we are keeping a close eye on the market developments and will align and adjust our product roadmap as the trends change.
Journo: Did you expect to see such overwhelming negative reaction from users for your product XYZ?
Boss: I! :(
Me: Ahem…of course!!! A negative response was expected from the outset. Our product is unique and a genre-defying and it is very hard to make an estimate based on initial reactions. Judging from the latest reports however, we could safely say that users are not any less enthusiastic about XYZ!
Journo: Huh?
Boss: Huh?
Me (quickly): Next question please!!
Journo: What is your current position in the market?
Boss: Pretty bad...
Me (hastily): What he means is ….to answer this question we first have to define which part of the market you are talking about. Is it retail, OEM etc. Right now our plan is to expand beyond these markets. So our growth is dynamic now and we cannot churn out static figures that would enable you to pin us down on the Billboard. However we can safely say it will definitely be exceeding our expectations!
Boss: *giggle*
Journo: The XYZ recently released was related to software. According to its specifications ABC application software will require the implementation of blah blah and blah blah. Can you explain us how you plan to handle these three elements and how they are applied in your upcoming software, and what technical issues relate to their implementation?
Boss (brightening up at the techie jargon): Well….
Me: Well...since our software is used in PC Software applications...

Boss picks up a National Geographic grumpily and starts thumbing through it.

Boss (looking up from the magazine): Maybe I will go get some Tea for all of us!
Me: Sit down!!
Boss (hopefully): Maybe some cold drinks?
Journo: I would like coffee please.
Boss (getting up in a hurry): *whew* Thank you!!! Err I mean I will have it sent right away!

In the evening, as I sat drinking cup after cup of very strong coffee to calm my nerves and steady my shaking hands, I made a firm resolve. No, it is not to resign and run away or contract Chicken Pox and or Intestinal worms. I firmly resolved that, whatever the girth of Mrs Beached Whale formidable a***, I will kiss it if it means that I don’t have to babysit the Boss through another interview again.

So help me God!

Song I am listening to - Dance with Me by Nouvelle Vague